Friday Refresher: 15 Ways to Communicate about Climate in Your Local Communities

Although this blog typically focuses on how local leaders in the U.S. are leading on climate solutions and engaging their communities around the local impacts of climate change, this Friday we’ll take a look at top suggestions from climate communicators around the globe.

For example, Columbia University professor of international business Elke Weber shares, “Don’t forget that small efforts add up: One big problem is that the challenge posed by climate change is so big and the contribution any one group or sector can make to a solution is so small. But climate change solutions do exist … by adding up action on many different fronts, the problem can successfully be addressed. So what we need to communicate are the effective and credible solutions that cumulate and scale up.” 

Other communication advice includes:

– Highlighting the economic benefits and debunking assumptions that climate change policies are costly, while encouraging businesses to speak up about both the operatiional risks of climate change and the benefits of investment in climate solutions;

– Appealing to community values, the things that we all would want, like a clean, healthy and safe environment for ourselves and our families;

– Empowering people to send their own messages in a way that resonates most for their own communities: like farmers, teachers, business leaders, people of faith;

As an end-of-week refresher, take some time to read all fifteen suggestions, and think about how you might incorporate these ideas into your own community action plan. For more resources to support your engagement and action efforts, please join us on the Path to Positive.

15 ways to powerfully communicate climate change solutions

By Katherine Purvis | The Guardian | May 5, 2015

Should campaigners be publishing in more local languages, or pushing for climate change to be taught at school? Our panel share their suggestions for the best ways to promote positive action.

1. Create a vision for action: Talking about climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, temperature goals and so on is too abstract. We need a way to make people understand what needs to happen in the real world to solve the problem, something simple that can capture people’s imagination. I think 100% renewable energy provides that vision. When we say we want a world powered by 100% renewable energy, people understand what is needed to happen; it is physical and concrete. Wael Hmaidan, executive director, Climate Action Network, Beirut, Lebanon, @whmaidan

2. Connect the dots: A prevailing obstacle is a lack of clarity on how things connected leading up to the climate crisis we are currently experiencing. We need to show people that our dependence on fossil fuels, which led to environmental, political and economic exploitation, contributed to climate change. Hoda Baraka, global communications manager,, Cairo, Egypt, @hodabaraka

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